9 Ways to get northern constituencies involved in changing the world: useful typology

October 10, 2014
Like everyone else, if Buzzfeed is any guide, I love a good list. I’m also increasingly obsessed with theories of change. So imagine my joy when I read Exfamer May Miller-Dawkins’ paper ‘9 Ways to Change the World’, which offers not one, but two lists. The paper is an attempt to come up with a typology of the ways organizations try

DFID is changing its approach to better address the underlying causes of poverty and conflict – can it work? Guest Post from two DFID reformers

October 9, 2014
Aid donors are often maligned for bureaucratic procedures, a focus on short-term results at the expense of longer-term, riskier institutional change, and a technical, managerial approach to aid with insufficient focus on context, power and politics. Are these institutional barriers insurmountable? Can aid agencies create an enabling environment to think and work politically? Tom Wingfield (left) and Pete Vowles (right) from DFID’s

New research: A wage revolution could end extreme poverty in Asia, with massive knock-on effects in Africa

October 8, 2014
Spoke last week as a ‘discussant’ (my favourite speaking role, no prep required) at the launch of an extraordinary new ODI paper, with the deeply forgettable title ‘rural wages in Asia’ (we’ll come back to the title later). In one of those papers that restores your faith in economists, Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats crunch the available data on 13

The highs and lows of peacekeeping in South Sudan

October 7, 2014
Oxfam’s head of humanitarian policy and campaigns, Maya Mailer (@MayaMailer), just back from South Sudan, reflects on some major progress in UN peacekeeping, with mountains still to climb. ‘Even if an attack was happening right outside our base and we could see it, we would close the doors. Our job isn’t protecting civilians but monitoring the peace agreement’. This is

Why Inequality is a (very) Big Deal, and you need to get involved

October 3, 2014
I wrote this puff for Blog Action Day on 16th Oct – it appeared on Oxfam International’s site earlier this week. If you’re a blogger and want to join in the inequality theme, sign up here. A few years ago I was touring the US to promote my book, From Poverty to Power, which focuses on inequality and redistribution. Big

This Sunday, Brazilians decide between two progressive women presidents. How do they compare?

October 2, 2014
Oxfam’s  country director, Simon Ticehurst (right), fills in the background ahead of this weekend’s election Some colleagues asked me this week, what is going to happen in the elections and who should I vote for? First up, prediction is not my forte. Last year in June I sent an optimistic briefing on Brazil to Oxfam´s CEO, saying that poverty was

What are the pros and cons of positive, negative and global (i.e. post North-South) campaigns?

October 1, 2014
Oxfam’s launching a big global campaign on inequality in October and as always, there are some fascinating internal meta-discussions about the pros and cons of different kinds of campaigns. A few years ago, we launched ‘Grow’, an attempt to run a campaign based on positive framing (a positive vision for the future of food, life and planet, with a focus